Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Birthday Dinner at Sensu

Here's the thing, it was my birthday, and of course, I wanted to try somewhere new...somewhere with sushi in particular.   I don't know what my obsession is with finding good sushi here, I mean, I know we are in the Midwest and my chances are slim.  But, I just keep holding out hope, that with this diverse and interesting restaurant scene here in Indy, I will find my sushi mecca...other than to go sushi from Fresh Market, that is. 

I did my usual online researching, asked some friends and decided on Sensu.  It opened not too long ago, I remember reading about it in NUVO or Indianapolis Monthly or something.  Either way, it was in the back of my mind for awhile.  On Friday, we went, with 6 of us.

The Place

Let's just start out by saying it was dark, and by dark, I mean too dark to snap ANY photos.  Also, for reasons I'll explain later, photos likely would've been more of a hindrance than at all fun.  Other than being dark, we walked in to a giant, and I mean, pretty giant, and empty club space.  It was early, like 7:30, so no club-goers yet.  It definitley had a trendy and swanky vibe happening.  We went upstairs and hung out at the bar while we waited for a couple more of our party.  They had cocktails and beer and a lighted, bubbling tank thingy that we quickly decided was very retro 80's. 
The upstairs is a restaurant that looks down on the club downstairs.  I guess the idea is that you have dinner and then you can stay to club later.  That wasn't our plan, but I have read in the article about them, that it is their concept.  The restaurant wasn't packed and we didn't really need the reservation I had made, but it's always better to be safe than end up eating at Qdoba or BW3s something for your birthday dinner, right?
Okay, so it's established, the place is dark and swanky and downtown.  It was a nice night out if you want to get a little dressed up :)

The food

The most important part...the food.  Let's start with the menu.  I think talking about the menu here is warranted because it's quite different than what I am used to and played a large part in our entire meal.  It's big and our server explained to us that idea is for us to order items from the menu and share them with the table.  It made things a little confusing and crazy with six people.  We worked on figuring it out, but I'm not going to lie, we sat with those menus for a long time!!  We are some college educated people at this table, and we had a helluva time figuring out how the heck to work all this out.

First, we just decided to kind of wing it, and with a little (or a lot) of guidance from our server, we ordered an appetizer...edamamme, of course.  I was starving, so I just needed something.  It was delicious as edamamae always is, you can't really screw it up.  The six of us hossed it pretty good.

Next, we decided to order the middle part of the meal, which consisted of your choice of tapas style entrees of either meat or fish.  We had no idea how many people each of these courses would serve, but they were about $25-30 each, so we thought we would get 1 meat and 1 fish order for the table.  We knew sushi would be next, so we didn't want to eat too much.  We got seared Kobe beef...ummmm totally straying from veggie lifestyle, but about the best way I have had beef EVER.  It was amazingly delicious!  The only downside is that I had to share it with 5 other people.  Now, I like sharing, but I wanted it all for myself!!  The other middle entree we ordered were the lobster tacos.  This usually comes with 5, but the server hooked it up and included another one for use to accommodate our 6th person.  He seemed to be very laid back about how the menu worked and insisted that everything could be ordered or done to suit your needs and wants.  It worked for us, we each had one lobster taco.  It was served cold and looked beautiful and tasted pretty dang good too.  Large chunks of lobster with a little spice to it...again left me wanting more.

Finally, we got to the sushi.  We ordered a four rolls for the table I think.  We had a variety of stuff from raw to veggie and fried rolls (my personal, yet bastardized version of sushi, favorite).  They were all pretty delightful.  I was pleased.  The presentation of everything was really nice and the food tasted good.  No complaints.  The sushi tasted pretty fresh and they had some interesting choices.  We did not have any sashimi, as I know this can be a real test of the quality of the sushi, but I was pretty stoked about the rolls we got.  I think everyone else was too, because we cleared the plates in about 3 minutes flat!

The sushi wrap (haha...get it?!?)

Sorry, I'm a big dork.

1.  Excellent food.  Delicious sushi and interesting mid-meal dishes.  Very pleased and would definitely devour this again.

2.  Great service.  Our waiter was patient and helped us figure out a fairly confusing menu and style of ordering.  Although, he wouldn't have had to be if the menu were a little more clear about how many people each dish was meant to serve.  A simple serves 2-3 next to each dish, would suffice if this is how they want patrons to order.  It would've helped us spend a little less time staring at the menu and little more time being able to talk and enjoy our meal.

3.  Because we had 6 people, they did not split the bill.  Not a big deal, but always something to be prepared for, particularly if you are ordering a bunch of stuff family style.

4.  I wish it wasn't so dark, so I could show you all of the amazing food we consumed!

5.  Oh yeah, someone at my table (not naming names), spilled the beans that it was my birthday...then they brought out a half-baked (literally gooey and not cooked fully) white chocolate macadamia nut cookie in a pan with a humongous sparkler atop it.  The cookie was AMAZING...I mean it.  So hella good.  The sparkler was a bit crazy...and the singing well...thanks guys!  It was embarrassing, but did take it to the birthday level for sure.

6.  If you went here with two people, I think there would be way more than enough food.  You'd pay for it, for sure, but I don't think you'd leave hungry.  Unfortunately, our unfamiliarity with portion sizes, our hunger level and whatever else contributed, I think some of us left kind of hungry.  So, for a party of 6, at about $30-40 a person, you can have some awesome food, a couple of cocktails and leave wanting just a little more.  If I went again, I would have a better idea of how much food to order.  Just something to think about for all you out there who haven't tried Sensu yet, but are thinking about it :)

Mange, mange, my friends.

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